Stop! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 04-01-2012, 01:45 AM Thread Starter
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Stop!

So my horse ALWAYS walks off on me when I mount him. I had a trainer that worked with him and I about it but that ended badly and I didn't like her method. When I am about to get on him I hold the reins in my left hand, and get on. As soon as I swing my right leg over the saddle he is already walking. I know I should stop him right away but he is difficult when it comes to stopping...he always put up a huge fight about it and the whole time I'm riding it feels like a tug of war. I don't want his mouth to get hard but I need him to stop! I know it is most likely 90% my fault so does anyone have any tips for me? Maybe we need to do more groundwork? If so, are there any good exercises we could do together? Thanks!
~Kayla

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post #2 of 15 Old 04-01-2012, 02:00 AM
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What do you mean by huge fight about it? He pulls you down, he lashes out, what?

Maybe you jut him in his ribs, or your calf squeezes gently and he takes that as a cue to go. Be careful with how you get on. Do you use a block? Are the stirrups long? Is the girth tight enough? Could someone hold your off stirrup for you?

If your horse still does this after you're sure you aren't directly asking him to.. then it's more like what my horse was doing.

My horse had this problem. Every time he'd start to walk off on me I'd jump back down and back him up a few steps, sometimes over poles. Other times I'd sit on him with leg beside him and keep my fingers closed, refusing to budge and eventually he'd stop pulling once he realized we weren't going anywhere.

It'll take awhile but be careful. Mix it up so you don't cause another problem to arise aka: too much backing up may lead to rearing.
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Last edited by Skyseternalangel; 04-01-2012 at 02:02 AM.
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post #3 of 15 Old 04-01-2012, 02:14 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skyseternalangel View Post
What do you mean by huge fight about it? He pulls you down, he lashes out, what?

Maybe you jut him in his ribs, or your calf squeezes gently and he takes that as a cue to go. Be careful with how you get on. Do you use a block? Are the stirrups long? Is the girth tight enough? Could someone hold your off stirrup for you?

If your horse still does this after you're sure you aren't directly asking him to.. then it's more like what my horse was doing.

My horse had this problem. Every time he'd start to walk off on me I'd jump back down and back him up a few steps, sometimes over poles. Other times I'd sit on him with leg beside him and keep my fingers closed, refusing to budge and eventually he'd stop pulling once he realized we weren't going anywhere.

It'll take awhile but be careful. Mix it up so you don't cause another problem to arise aka: too much backing up may lead to rearing.
I always make sure that I don't give him any cues to go. Sometimes I use a block (depends on how flexible I am feeling that day. I'm about 5'1 and my horse is 15.3) My stirrups are pretty short since my legs are also. His girth is tight enough. I guess I could get someone to hold my stirrup for me.
Thanks for the advice! I will try your techniques :)

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post #4 of 15 Old 04-01-2012, 02:16 AM
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Originally Posted by KaylaMarie96 View Post
Thanks for the advice! I will try your techniques :)
I hope they work for you :) There are a few threads on here with that exact same problem. My horse would try to lunge himself and we fixed that over time.

"Strength is the ability to use a muscle without tension"
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post #5 of 15 Old 04-01-2012, 07:04 AM
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For the moment I would use the block to mount,
Stand him alongside and put your foot in the stirrup making sure that your toe doesn't poke him in the side.
Keep hold of both reins with your left hand and then put the weight in the stirrup and stand there, right hand on the back of the saddle if he goes to move use the rein to make him stop.
Make sure your leg clears his quarters and sit gently in the saddle. If he goes to move then stop with the reins in your left hand.
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post #6 of 15 Old 04-01-2012, 02:53 PM
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Also you need to transfer this moving/stopping and standing still to other areas. When you halter him. Make him stand still before you lead him. When leading him, make him stand still, and move at differing paces and stand still when you tell him to. And don't talk to him or pet him.

He should be standing there, just waiting to see what you are going to do, not fidgeting, nor being praised.

To me, your comment about girth being tight enough? You may be overgirthing. Too tight a girth is painful, and also may have metal where it is irritating horse or compromising blood supply too. For that matter? You can mount without any girth at all. Not recommended but shows that girth doesn't need to be giving horse wasp waist.

I always shorten offside rein, so that if horse does move? Hindquarters come towards me, so I can settle in saddle.

But make horse stand quietly under you at differing times. Not always constant movement, and don't just let horse move off after a couple of seconds. Minutes can go by and horse needs to stand there. Period. Again, no praising or petting horse.

And making sure you aren't jabbing with toe is good advice, and also making sure you haven't gotten his mane trapped under saddle/pad, as that pulls and will make horse move. Pad/blanket should be tented under gullet of saddle to avoid this.

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post #7 of 15 Old 04-01-2012, 07:31 PM
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Break out the lunge line. Best way and always does the trick. Try mounting and if he moves quickly give a little tug with the reins and jump down, lunge him in a fast trot, or at least something more than a walk. And try again. Eventually he will understand that the more he is still the less work he will have to do. After getting off and on a few times just to make sure it will stick. Make sure you give lots of praise and some easy walking in-between mount and dismount.

But remember consistency and your horses comfort is key. Make sure you check your saddle and your horse weekly for any new sores or any rubbing that might hurt your horse.
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post #8 of 15 Old 04-01-2012, 10:01 PM
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I think walking off while you are mounting is an issue.

However, I'm surprised no one has caught you on your horse's lack of brakes :)
I would totally focus on having your horse stopping when YOU ask for it. I like the idea of lunging, that will work I believe. But you say that the entire ride is a battle to stop. Sooo.... practice stopping. All during your work out. It should eventually not be a fight. But you need to practice stopping more often, if it's an issue through the entire ride.
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post #9 of 15 Old 04-02-2012, 12:13 AM
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The reason that your horse is not standing for mounting absolutely must be identified and then responded to... but there are other "reasons" too. Temperament is one of them- some horses are fidgety, sensitive, easily distracted. These horses need help learning to keep their feet still for all activities, including mounting. Persistence and patience, simply ask your horse to stand often and for longer periods of time... all the time. Some horses walk off because that's what they thinking mounting is... in other words they've been conditioned to walk off because it's become a habit. I mention this because your horse may think he's doing what you want... so be patient. Assuming your horse is standing still easily, I break this down into lots of small steps and take it slow. Stand next to your horse's side, he doesn't walk off- then walk him off and start again. Stand next to his side, mess with the stirrups, reins, he stands still and then walk him off and start again. And on and on and on. All the while you are showing him what you want... be sure to praise him for standing still. Go on and on and on until you are mounting. It sounds tedious, but it works. By the way- standing still for mounting IS your lesson for the day- don't rush it to just get on. This will be what you work on until it's good. I've been able to teach horses that have been walking off for years to stand quietly in a matter of a few days. Really, it's true!
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post #10 of 15 Old 04-02-2012, 08:14 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Palomine View Post
Also you need to transfer this moving/stopping and standing still to other areas. When you halter him. Make him stand still before you lead him. When leading him, make him stand still, and move at differing paces and stand still when you tell him to. And don't talk to him or pet him.

He should be standing there, just waiting to see what you are going to do, not fidgeting, nor being praised.

To me, your comment about girth being tight enough? You may be overgirthing. Too tight a girth is painful, and also may have metal where it is irritating horse or compromising blood supply too. For that matter? You can mount without any girth at all. Not recommended but shows that girth doesn't need to be giving horse wasp waist.

I always shorten offside rein, so that if horse does move? Hindquarters come towards me, so I can settle in saddle.

But make horse stand quietly under you at differing times. Not always constant movement, and don't just let horse move off after a couple of seconds. Minutes can go by and horse needs to stand there. Period. Again, no praising or petting horse.

And making sure you aren't jabbing with toe is good advice, and also making sure you haven't gotten his mane trapped under saddle/pad, as that pulls and will make horse move. Pad/blanket should be tented under gullet of saddle to avoid this.
His girth is not too tight. It could actually be a lot tighter since he has lost some weight (he used to have a big hay belly). I have been putting it on the same hole every time I ride. I just choose not to tighten it so much. I have good balance so it's not that big of a deal. That's I good idea to make him stand still at other times, not just when mounting. He does seem to fidget a lot ;) Thank you for your advice!

A Horse Is An Extension Of It's Rider...Both Cant Complete Their Tasks Without The Other <3
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